Author Archives: Editors

The Ultimate Fun Jewish Summer Wishlist

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We’ve finally organized all the books we’ve been meaning to read, picnic gear we’ve been meaning to buy, and kitsch we’ve been meaning to show off. Lucky you!

Beach Reading

We know, we know, you promised yourself you’d read Proust one of these days, and you still haven’t gotten to Pride & Prejudice. But how can you, when all these great new books are coming out? Here are our favorites.

ITEM ITEM ITEM ITEM

Jerusalem: A Family Portrait ($17.91)

The Innocents ($10.40)

Freud’s Mistress ($19.72)

Norwegian by Night ($18.78)

The Summer Things You Never Knew You Needed

Don’t hog all the fun. Share our ridiculous finds with your dog and your children—and when things get out of hand, whip out your “Keep Calm I’m Jewish” t-shirt.

ITEM ITEM ITEM ITEM

Jewish Dog Party Collar ($12)

Aleph Bet Beach Ball ($5.99)

Jewish Star Sunglassses ($2.95)

Keep Calm I’m Jewish T-shirt ($11.99)

Road-Tripping and Picnicking

There’s nothing that screams “summertime!” like Magen David ice cubes, Jewish bumper stickers, and those awesome folding camping chairs. We want two of each.

ITEM ITEM ITEM ITEM

Jewish Star Ice Cube Molds ($19.99)

“Prays Well With Others” Bumper Stickers ($5.22)

The Perfect Packable Picnic Seat ($27.55)

Skip Hop Cute Picnic Blanket Set ($45)

Classic Reading, Sort Of

From Leon Uris’s classic tale of the founding of the State of Israel to Daphne Merkin’s scandalous personal essays, sometimes you just want to sit by the pool with an old favorite. Here are some of ours.

ITEM ITEM ITEM ITEM

Goodbye, Columbus ($12.12)

Exodus ($7.19)

Dreaming of Hitler ($26.55)

Summer Sisters ($10.47)

We hope you’ve enjoyed our finds as much as we have!

And since MyJewishLearning, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that relies on donations and revenue-raising, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds of any purchase you make using our links.

Happy summer 2013!

Posted on July 18, 2013

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Our Customized Father’s Day Gift Guide

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Father’s Day is just around the corner, and if your dad is anything like ours, he’s probably pretty tough to shop for. Fortunately we’ve got you covered with a variety of gifts for our favorite kinds of dads.

tie clip

Classic Dad
If you lean towards a classic Father’s Day gift, and you have a refined, tie-wearing dad, we suggest you pick up this elegant Sterling Silver Magen David Tie Clip ($160).

Abraham & Isaac & Jacob T-shirt

Jewish Jokester Dad
If your dad is more of a Jewish jokester who appreciates a witty t-shirt, check out this awesome Abraham & Isaac & Jacob Jewish Patriarch t-shirt ($24). All the cool Jewish dads are wearing it.

Cardamon coffee

Caffeine-Dependent Dad
Is your dad not fully human till he’s had his morning coffee? If so, try this awesome and very intense authentic Nachle Israeli black coffee spiced with cardamom ($10).

The Man in The White Sharkskin Suit

Bookworm Dad
If your father is a voracious reader and enjoys some good non-fiction, he might like this story of a family leaving Egypt: The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family’s Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World by Lucette Lagnado ($11.37).

Pray Ball!

Sports-Lover Dad
For the sports lover, we recommend a book about being a Jewish sports fan. Also appeals to the punster dads. Check out Pray Ball! The Spiritual Insights of a Jewish Sports Fan by James Gordon ($22.95).

MyJewishLearning, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization and receives a percentage of the proceeds of any purchase you make using our links. Happy Father’s Day to you and the fathers in your life!

Posted on May 30, 2013

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

MyJewishLearning is seeking an intern!

MyJewishLearning is an umbrella of pluralistic, nondenominational Jewish websites and blogs, and we’re looking for an intern for support with a variety of tasks, both on the business and editorial sides of our publications, which include Jewniverse and a variety of blogs. We’re looking for a solid writer with an interest in Jewish culture and history on the one hand, and who is eager to learn some of the nitty-gritty of online marketing and business on the other.

Familiarity with WordPress and Photoshop is a plus.

The internship is available immediately and would last at least through the end of August. The position is 10-15 hours a week and pays $10 per hour. Applicants must be available to come into our Midtown Manhattan office. To apply, send resume and cover letter explaining your interest working for MJL to info@myjewishlearning.com with “Internship” in the subject.

UPDATE: The summer position has been filled, but check back in for future openings!

Posted on May 22, 2013

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Amazing Gifts For Your Mom (Whoever She May Be)

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At the Passover Seder we have the Four Children, so it seems only right that on Mother’s Day we should have the Four Moms. Except, really, how do you divide all moms into just 4 categories? So we added a 5th, and are suggesting some gifts to help you keep the guilt trips at bay.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 12th. Order today and get it in time to give to your mom, whichever of these categories she exemplifies or defies!

purple-leaf-necklace

Fancy Mom
Not every mom is a jewelry-lover, but if yours is, you can’t do better than this stunning and simply beautiful purple leaf pendant necklace made in Israel ($141). We love how elegant and chic it is.

tree-clock

Stepmom
We love this awesome Family Tree Wall Clock ($20) that has room for you to add 12 pictures from your family, 1 for every hour of the day. It’s a nice way to acknowledge your big mixed family while maintaining some design flair.

 

Ergo carrier

New Mom
Even if you’re not into attachment parenting, this popular Ergo carrier ($129.95) is an amazing (and comfortable) way to carry your baby and keep your hands free. Plus, it’s cute and made of organic cotton.

 

yoga-mat

Yoga Mom
If your mom has gotten into yoga or pilates, we suggest you surprise her with the deluxe Manduka Pro Mat. ($80-$138) It’s the mat serious yogis dream about – and yogis say you really can tell the difference.

 

haddassahThe Old School Mom
Is your mom active in her synagogue’s sisterhood, president of her local Hadassah chapter, and maker of the all time best coffee cake in the universe? Then we suggest you go in with your siblings to get this trio of fantastic cookbooks:

 

The Hadassah Everyday Cookbook ($24)
Classic, beautifully photographed Jewish favorites, with a contemporary twist, by one of MyJewishLearning’s favorite young food writers.

aromasfinal

Aromas of Aleppo ($31)
Most of Syria’s Jewish community left the country during the 20th century. This gorgeous cookbook captures some of their rich, tantalizing culinary heritage.

jerusalem-final

and Jerusalem: A Cookbook ($20)
One of our favorites this year, by the Israeli-Palestinian duo sweeping bestseller lists with their healthful, glorious Jerusalem cuisine.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Posted on May 7, 2013

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Passover 2013 Green Gift Guide

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Despite its associations with the verdant spring, the way we tend to observe Passover is anything but green. So we’re offering this guide to making your Passover less wasteful and more sustainable, from green cleaning products to recycled wine glasses. “Like” it to share it with your friends. We hope it’s helpful!

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies

There are some great green and eco-friendly cleaning supplies out there to help you rid your home of hametz. Simple Green is an all purpose cleaner ($11.75), and there’s also Free and Clear ($5.49). We also love these Full Circle sponges and brushes made from recycled products ($19.99), and these microfiber eco-friendly Cleaning Cloths ($6.99).

Simple Green 13033 All-Purpose Cleaner, $11.75

Free & Clear All-Purpose Cleaner, $5.49

Full Circle Home Specialty Cleaning Set, $19.99

Skoy Eco-friendly Cleaning Cloth, $6.99

Recycled and Reusable Tableware

These greener and reusable dishes and pans wed the convenience of disposable with the conscience of sustainable. Preserve Everyday Tableware offers recycled, dishwasher-safe sets of 4 plates, cups, and bowls ($17.95), 24-count cutlery sets ($12.83), and 3 nested mixing bowls for $21.63. Or, try this set of beautiful bamboo dishes that are single-use, but totally biodegradable ($24.99).

Preserve Everyday Tableware Set, $17.95

Preserve 24 Count on The Go Cutlery, $12.83

Preserve Nested Mixing Bowls, $21.63

Bamboo Studio Party-Pack, $24.99

Shatterproof and Recycled Wine Glasses & Accessories

For the wine at your seder table we suggest these recyclable and shatterproof wine glasses (4 for $12.95) or these recycled glass wine glasses (6 for $61.75). And if you’re looking to bring some rustic class to your brisket, we love this serving tray made out of an old wine barrel ($55). And how about this wooden handled corkscrew ($10.03) to open your wine?

Govino Wine Glass Flexible Shatterproof Recyclable, 4 for $12.95

Recycled Glass Wine Glasses, 6 for $61.75

Wine Barrel Serving Tray with Stave Foot, $55

Wood Professional Corkscrew, $10.03

Organic and Sustainable Kosher Wine

Kosher organic wine is hard to find, but this guide has helped us make our picks. For white, try Yarden Chardonnay ($16.99) or Baron Herzog White Zinfandel, ($7.99) (Baron Herzog is not certified organic, but many of their wines come from “sustainably grown/low spray” grapes.) For red, we love Barkan Cabernet Savignon, ($10.19) and Elvi Mati Rioja Tempranillo ($21.99).

Yarden Chardonnay, $16.99

Baron Herzog White Zinfandel, $7.99

Barkan Cabernet Sauvignon Classic, $10.19

2009 Elvi Mati Rioja Tempranillo, $21.99

We hope you enjoy the selection as much as we do! And check out our Classic Passover 2013 Gift Guide for our favorite seder plates, matzah covers, and seder essentials.

MyJewishLearning, Inc., a not-for-profit organization, receives a percentage of the proceeds of any Amazon purchase you make using these links.

Posted on March 15, 2013

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Passover 2013 Gift Guide

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Whether you’re hosting your own seder and looking for a new matzah cover, or going to someone else’s and want to bring them a great gift, we’ve come up with our top picks of seder basics and some special items to spruce things up. Enjoy!

Seder Plates

We’re offering dozens of wonderful seder plate options at all price points, but we especially love this classic silver seder plate ($278), this pomegranate themed stainless steel seder plate ($119) and this show-stopping Jerusalem stone seder plate with blue cups and illuminated Hebrew text ($385).

Silver Seder Plate with Floral Pattern and Ovals, $278

Glass and Metal Passover Seder Plate from Shraga Landesman, $104

Pomegranates, Circular Stainless Steel Passover Seder Plate, $119

Jerusalem Stone Seder Plate with Blue Cups and Illuminated Hebrew Text, $385

Matzah Covers

If you can’t invest in a seder plate, a matzah cover is a more affordable but still beautiful and useful gift for yourself or your host. This simple elegant design features olive branches and pomegranates ($35). There’s also dozens by popular Israeli artist Yair Emanuel, including this painted silk cover with red sea imagery ($27) and this raw silk cover with bird applique ($76). If you’re looking for something with a more modern aesthetic, we like this round white cover, with mod-looking lettering ($54).

Pomegranates, Olive Branches, and Hebrew Pesach Matzah Cover, $35

Crossing The Red Sea Matzah Cover Set By Yair Emanuel, $27

Yair Emanuel Silk Matzah Cover Set with Birds on Blue Background, $76

Black and Blue Embroidered Pesach, Matzah, Maror Matzah Cover, $54

Matzah Plates

Matzah covers are only used at the seders and maybe on Shabbat, but a matzah plate or holder is useful all week. We like this metal and wood holder that has the matzah standing up like record albums ($60). This nickel and wood plate is very classy and charming ($35). We also love this glass matzah plate with gold and blue ($39), and this tin matzah box decorated with pomegranates ($19).

Metal and Wood Matzah Holder from Shraga Landesman, $60

Nickel and Wood Matzah Plate with Hebrew Text and Grapevines, $35

Glass Matzah Plate with Leaves on Blue, $39

Decorated Tin Matzah Box by Yair Emanuel in Blue with Pomegranate Design, $17

Haggadot & Books

The obvious Passover book choice is a haggadah, and there are endless options. For a family with young children, we love Joyous Haggadah: The Illuminated Story of Passover, which is comic-book style ($8.95); for slightly older children A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices ($16.20) is fantastic; and another great one is Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander’s New American Haggadah ($19.79). If you tend more towards fiction when giving gifts, why not try the classic Exodus by Leon Uris ($7.99) (it’s not really about the Passover story, but it’s still pretty relevant and a fun read).

Richard Codor’s Joyous Haggadah, $8.95

A Night to Remember, $16.20

New American Haggadah, $19.79

Exodus, $7.99

Wine-related Gifts

Finally, when you’ve got a holiday so focused on wine, why not bring a wine-related gift. This Metrokane Vertical Rabbit Corkscrew makes opening any bottle a breeze ($45). This set of six bottle stoppers in bright colors is fun and very functional ($14.99), much like these Passover wine charms, that help guests be sure which glass is theirs ($40). And there’s also this beautiful wall-mounted wine rack, for storing the leftovers ($30).

Metrokane Vertical Rabbit, $45

Set of 6 Zyliss Bottle Stoppers, $14.99

Passover Wine Charms, $40

Wall-Mounted Wine Rack, $30

We hope you enjoy the selection as much as we do! The MyJewishLearning store has literally thousands of items for holidays and any time of year, and MyJewishLearning, Inc., a not-for-profit organization, receives a percentage of the proceeds of any gift you buy.

Happy early Passover to you and yours!

Posted on March 8, 2013

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Purim 2013 Gift Guide

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Purim 2013 is on its way! Starting the evening of Saturday, February 23rd, the holiday that celebrates the clever salvation of Persia’s Jews is nearly upon us. Are you ready to make some noise, get dressed up, give gifts, and donate to charity? Don’t worry; we can help.

Make Some Noise / Groggers

The classic Purim accessory is a noisemaker, used to block out Haman’s name during the megillah reading on Purim eve and Purim day. We love this whimsical grogger in the shape of a Hasid, this silly clown grogger that comes with a display stand, this hand-painted grogger that depicts Jerusalem and has two separate noisemakers, and this simple and affordable tricolor wooden grogger.

Hasid Grogger with stand, $280 Clown Grogger with stand, $280 Jerusalem Grogger with stand, $28 Simple wooden grogger, $3

 

Get Dressed Up / Costumes

It’s long been customary to dress up in costumes on Purim. You can go the traditional route, and get yourself this awesome nun costume, the perfect ironic getup for any megillah reading. It goes perfectly with this monk costume. Or you can go quick and easy with this beautiful (and realistic) unicorn mask, or this comprehensive set of mustaches, lips and glasses on a stick, which allow you to mix and match your costume as the holiday progresses.

Deluxe Nun Costume, $63.75 Medieval Monk Costume, $28.99 Magical Unicorn Mask, $23.77 30-piece Mustache-on-a-stick set, $59.99

 

Give Gifts / Mishloach Manot 

You might not associate gift-giving with Purim, but in fact it’s right there in the megillah, where we read that on the day that the Jews were saved from Haman’s clutches Mordechai decreed that Shushan’s Jews should “send portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.” Check out these great, kosher pre-assembled “portions,” like this one with peanut butter cups, English toffee, chocolate covered pretzels, and more. We also love this blue and white basket, with chocolates, hamantaschen, and blue Terra chips. If you’re going to make your own mishloach manot, try including some lovely Wissotzky Tea and a little honey stick.

Kosher Gift Arrangement, $26.95 Purim Basket: True Blue Temptation, $54.99 Wissotzky Tea, from $3.99 100 Honey Sticks, $23.80

 

Give Gifts / Books

A good book is always an appropriate Jewish gift. On Purim, you can go back to the source text, and get your friend a copy of the JPS Commentary on Esther, which is comprehensive and fascinating. For the kids, there’s the new and wonderful The Purim Superhero. And for the fiction lover in your life, we highly recommend The Gilded Chamber, a novelization of the story of Esther, and Good for the Jews, a modern retelling set is Madison, Wisconsin.

JPS Commentary on the Book of Esther, $26.40 The Purim Superhero, $7.55 The Gilded Chamber, $13.60 Good for the Jews, $12.48

 

 

Donate to Charity / Tzedakah

A central component of celebrating Purim is giving tzedakah, money to the poor. Why not make a donation in honor of your friends to a local food pantry, Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, American Jewish World Service, the Joint Distribution CommitteeYad Eliezer: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in Israel, or JBFCS which supports Jews struggling with alcohol and drug dependency? And you can also always support our work here at MyJewishLearning.com, a not-for-profit organization.

Happy Purim to you and yours!

Posted on February 12, 2013

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Hanukkah 2012 Gift Guide

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The High Holidays are over and Thanksgiving is around the corner. That can only mean one thing here at MyJewishLearning: We’re thinking about the very fun (and very American) tradition of Hanukkah gift-giving!

Here’s a handy tour through our staff’s top picks from our new Hanukkah Store, handily divided into categories.

Hanukkah 101

First things first: Menorahs! Whether you prefer ultramodern or ultra-traditional, the MJL Hanukkah Store has a menorah for you. Here are four of our top picks, in materials ranging from wood to copper to cement, from the beautiful blue one below to the handy travel menorah you can fold up and throw in your tote bag on your way out of town:

Yair Emmanuel Menorah

Yair Emanuel Menorah with Temple Design, $95

Travel Menorah

Yair Emanuel Folding Menorah, $39

CeMMent Design Menorah

CeMMent Design Menorah, $455

Copper Chabad-Style Menorah

Copper Chabad-Style Menorah, $115

Hanukkah Accessories

But menorahs are only the first step. What candles will you light? What dreidels will you spin? And why can you never find a kippah when you need one? We’ve got you covered. Here our four of our favorite Hanukkah accessories. We particularly love the gorgeous Safed candles, the Bezalel Art School dreidel, and how reasonably priced the kippot are. You can stock up for your whole family!

Beeswax Safed Candles

Beeswax Safed Candles, $8

Knitted Kippah

Blue & White Knitted Kippah, $17

Noah’s Ark Dreidel

Yair Emanuel Noah’s Ark Dreidel, $17

Pewter Dreidel

Pewter Dreidel, Bezalel Art School Design, $65

For Children
Perhaps you, like many of us, do most of your Hanukkah shopping for kids. Check out our fully stocked children’s page, and consider our top picks, from the gorgeous wooden camel puzzles, which function as decor as much as toys, to the wildly popular personalizable name necklaces, an interactive songbook, and more:

Wooden Camel Puzzle

Yair Emanuel Wooden Camel Puzzle, $33

Noah’s Ark Tzedakah Box

Yair Emanuel Noah’s Ark Tzedakah Box, $30

Hebrew Name Necklace

Customized Hebrew Name Necklace, $39

Interactive Hebrew Songbook

Children’s Interactive Hebrew Songbook, $49

For the Home:

Hanukkah can also be a great time to doll up your home, and from Israeli art and handicrafts to challah covers, from hamsas to mezuzahs, it was hard to choose just four. But our favorite may just be the Sterling Silver Crepe Shabbat Candlesticks–we love their textured, organic feel:

Silver Crepe Shabbat Candlesticks

Sterling Silver Crepe Shabbat Candlesticks, $106

Embroidered Challah Cover

Yair Emanuel Embroidered Challah Cover, $26

Engraved Jerusalem Wine Fountain

Engraved Jerusalem Wine Fountain, $170

CeMMent Hamsa Wall Hanging

CeMMent Designs Hamsa Wall Hanging, $90

For Mom:

And if you’re looking to buy something for a special lady (yourself?), we have hundreds of possibilities, from brooches to tallitot to handbags. Here are our editors’ favorite four. (Two of us are already sporting the peacock earrings!):

Silver Pomegranate Necklace

Silver Pomegranate Necklace, $220

Silver Peacock Feather Earrings

Silver Peacock Feather Earrings, $179

Hand-painted Tallit

Yair Emanuel Hand-painted Tallit, $135

Hand-Painted Silk Scarf

Yair Emanuel Hand-Painted Silk Scarf, $30

For Dad:

Is it just us, or can men can be really hard to shop for? We’ve tried to help you narrow it down. In addition to accessories like tie clips and cufflinks, we’re also offering a full line of teffilin and Star of David necklaces, and more. (And check out that sterling silver USB drive!):

Silver-Plated Cufflinks with First Century Inscription

Silver-Plated Cufflinks with First Century Inscription, $76

Yair Emanuel Tallit Set

Yair Emanuel Tallit Set, $169

Hebrew Traveler’s Prayer Pens

Hebrew Traveler’s Prayer Pens, $15

Sterling silver flash drive

2-Gigabyte Sterling Silver and Diamond Star-of-David Flash Drive, $235

For the Host:

Last but not least, the question that can have you second-guessing yourself for days: What on earth do you give to your host? Olive oil from Israel would make a memorable, not to mention useful, gift, and the decorative items are unique enough to use as artwork, but neutral enough to work in anyone’s home. Here are four great options:

Zeta Virgin Olive Oil

Zeta Virgin Olive Oil, $18

Armenian-Style Blessing for the Home

Armenian-Style Blessing for the Home, $10

Jerusalem Matchbox Holder

Stone Matchbox Holder with Jerusalem Plaque, $16

Jerusalem Stone Paperweight

Twelve Tribes and Menorah Stone Paperweight, $35

 

We hope you enjoy the selection as much as we do! The MJL store has literally thousands of items for holidays and any time of year, and MyJewishLearning, Inc., a non-profit organization, receives a percentage of the proceeds of any gift you buy.

Happy shopping, and happy Hanukkah to you and yours!

 

Posted on November 14, 2012

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy